I heard a quote the other day that has really stuck with me. It has so many applications in life, and somehow it has become the central theme in my own life lately. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it went something like this: It will never be a perfect time to start something. That’s it. This is a very simple idea but when you think about it, this short sentence can have profound meaning in so many aspects of life.
Think about something that has been on your mind for a long time. Something you have always wanted to try. Maybe it’s as simple as travelling to China for a month, or maybe it’s finally calling your sister who you’ve been fighting with for years. Now think about why you haven’t done the thing you have always wanted to do. Of course there is a reason. I have my reasons for staying stagnant too. Money is too tight. Work is too busy. The task is just too difficult. The timing isn’t right… and my personal favourite – I don’t want to fail again.
But that brings to mind another quote I heard. Do you think there is any difference between a reason and an excuse? I don’t really think the there is much of a difference. And although we all may have our reasons for not chasing our dreams, I bet that if you really think about it, those reasons will start to sound more like excuses. That’s the way it is for me anyways.
So how does all of this apply to my life? Well… there are a few different ways, and two jump out at me right away. I’ve always been fairly physically active, and I played sports regularly until I was 18. But once organized sports were over, I had to find another way to stay in shape. So I started going to the gym. But then I turned 25 and I slowly bulked up (in the bad way), and my gym habits weren’t enough to overcome my slowing metabolism and less than ideal diet.
I managed to lose a bit of weight every so often, but the weight usually came back because I just couldn’t keep on track. So after years of researching and learning on my own, I figured out the formula I needed to follow to get myself to the point of being the healthiest I have ever been. But for some reason I just haven’t been able to get over that edge. I’ve approached my fitness goals several times, but for some reason I have always fallen short. It’s almost like something inside of me says “you’re doing well Craig. You look awesome in the mirror. Although you are still a few months away from reaching your goal, it’s time to stop now”. Is it laziness? Is it just feeling worn out? I don’t know. But it really feels like somehow living a healthy life is SO MUCH HARDER than eating chips and watching TV. And I have struggled with this for years. So what’s my excuse? To be honest I really don’t have one. If I had to choose, I would say that being unhealthy is just easier. It’s that simple.
The other way the title of this post has affected my life is with my career. I have tried and failed three times to get the career of my dreams. And I’ve waited four years to finally try again. Why did I wait so long? There are a few reasons (ahem, excuses). I was mad… I was sad… and I was confused. Why would God not allow me to have a career that is all I have ever wanted? All of these emotions basically added up to one thing. I was weary and just tired of trying. So I took the easy way out and stayed in my current job, which was less than satisfying. Like a pool of water, I chose to take the path of least resistance. And over the last four years I have been asked over and over by friends and family – “why don’t you try again?” – and my answer was always the same. Why would I try again, when I have failed so many times before? I can’t handle any more disappointment. My soul just can’t take it.
-Sorry for the vulgar photo. It made me laugh and I had to share it!-
So in these two aspects of my life, I have been making excuses. That is very clear to me. And I have thought a lot about when I am finally going to stop doing that. The reason I am writing about this is that I have chosen to stop making excuses, and I thought maybe I could inspire someone else to do the same. Tomorrow I am going to try again. The timing will never be right my friends. The first day of the month will never fall on the first day of the week, on your birthday, which just happens to be on Superbowl Sunday and the last day of winter. If you have chosen a date to start your diet, or to finally start eating healthy, or to apply for your dream job, then stop being silly. The perfect day will never come. You just have to dive straight into your dream. You have to start sometime. What better time than now?
Famous people who have failed
-Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job as a TV anchor in Baltimore. She is now worth $2.9 Billion.
-Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”.
-Vera Wang became an editor of Vogue magazine, but was passed over for the Editor In Chief position. She then began designing wedding gowns on her own and is now worth over $1 Billion.
-J.K. Rowling was a single mom living on welfare. Then she wrote Harry Potter, and is now the first billionaire author.
-Dr. Seuss had his first book rejected by publishers 27 times. His books have since sold over 600 million copies.
-James Dyson went through his life savings, and 5,126 failed vacuum prototypes over 15 years. He is now worth $4.5 billion.